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Acts of the Apostles: 24 - Acts 13:14-52

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Acts of the Apostles

24 - Acts 13:14-52

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Acts of the Apostles: 24 - Acts 13:14-52

MP4 Video - 1080p (1.63 GB)
MP4 Video - 720p (1005.58 MB)
MP3 Audio (30.77 MB)

In this class, we will discuss Acts 13:14-52 and look at some background information about the city Antioch in Pisidia. Also, we will examine the message Paul delivered to the men of Israel and the Gentiles who worship God.


[Darris McNeely]: Welcome back to Acts. We are still in chapter 13, and the story of the visit of Paul and Barnabas now, to the city of Antioch in Pisidia. Program note, we've corrected it in class, those of you watching it online, in the previous class to this one, when John Mark leaves the party in the city of Perga and goes back to Jerusalem at one point, I seem to have mentioned that it was Barnabas who left, but I'm sure those of you watching it online have caught the mistake as well, so you don't need to write me on that. Our sharp students here in the classroom have already pointed that out. It was John Mark who leaves, not Barnabas. So, Barnabas and Paul now have gone on to the city of Antioch. They've gone along this particular road, the Via Sebaste, which goes up from Perga up to Antioch in Pisidia.

And so a little bit about this Antioch in Pisidia, it is a significant city in this region of Frisia right on the edge of what was considered Galatia. When you study Galatians and you learn that the Southern Galatian theory of the letter and all of that, but understanding the extent of Galatia, there are inscriptions that show that in that period, all the way over here was considered to be part of Galatia, even though it's right on the edge of Pisidia and Frisia right here. But Antioch was a significant city. It was founded by, once again, that great family that we studied in the book of Daniel, the Seleucus, and they put their name on it, the Antiochian family that came along on these cities. So that's where we get the name Antioch.

But that was in the Greek period. Now it's in the Roman period. What has happened to the city in the time of the Romans is it has been built up by Romans, particularly Augustus, the big guy or the big dog. We could call him the founder of the Roman Empire. And we might as well put his name up here on the board because we're going to be talking about Augustus a bit here as we come to Antioch in Pisidia. This is Augustus Caesar, the founder of the Roman Empire, formerly named Octavian, adopted son of Julius Caesar, who by this time is dead. The emperor at the time of our story here is the Emperor Claudias, but we're talking about what Augustus did. He has built up many cities, but Antioch is one of them, and put a lot of money into it, a lot of it from his own, let's say his own pocketbook.

But his pocketbook is...not a whole lot of difference between that and the state pocketbook because it's the spoils of war and all that has poured into Rome. But he does build up the infrastructure of the city. And they built a two-level aqueduct. There are the remains in Antioch of a two-level aqueduct from the hills, I think, to the south of the city, that brought water in. They had plenty of water supply from the hills around there. And Augustus also settles into this area, a lot of his retired soldiers from the legions. And I think I mentioned at the time, we were talking about the Centurion earlier in the book of Acts, that if you had 20, 25 years of service in as a centurion or a soldier, you would be retired.

And if you were still alive, you could be given a parcel of land. Spain was a big place for that. And now, once they took over Asia Minor, this area became places where they parceled out land to retired legionnaires, upwards of 2000 or 3000 former legionaries had been settled in Antioch, in Pisidia. And so there was a large Roman, retired Roman feature there, as well as other peoples. There was a large Jewish presence as well. We do know from the story of the Greek period that they actually brought in from way over here in Babylon, a lot of Jews were imported by the Seleucid families into Antioch in Pisidia, resettled there. And so this creates a synagogue presence for Paul to come in as we come into the story here where he will preach.

And so this is a little bit of the background. Now, because Augustus has put a lot of money there, and he's also settled some of his former soldiers in Antioch in Pisidia, there was a large temple to Augustus, or as they would've referred to him by this time, to the divine Augustus, all right? Because he's now deified, been deified by the Senate. He's a god. He has his own temple and he's worshiped. This is the remains of the temple in Antioch in Pisidia. I took this picture when we were there. Actually the day we were there, we had the whole ruins of Antioch in Pisidia to our ourselves, about 15 of us. And it was a good day for that, didn't have crowds of tourists, and it was kind of off the beaten track at that time of year.

And so we were able to just kind of go wherever we wanted to. And this is the remains. This is what remains of a large, monumental temple to Augustus from that period of time. And that is important to understand. Here's a back view of it. And it's on the highest part of the city, and it is situated to look out over the city and around you see that it's kind of set in a little basin here, the remains of a basin. This was a huge temple complex. There was a two-story complex of buildings behind this temple. The temple itself was quite large. Inside that temple was a large, monumental statue of Augustus, probably in a seated form. They found a similar one down in Herculaneum, which is near ancient Pompey and is in a museum down there of him sitting in that setting.

And so this is a significant feature of the city that is going to play into the sermon that we're going to read about here that Paul gives in the synagogue. Now, this would be looking down from that temple to a lower part of the city. This is the ruins of a Byzantine basilica. Basilica's a Byzantine term for church, a Christian church from the later fifth or sixth century or beyond. These are the ruins of it. They make the claim that this is built on the remains of the foundation of a synagogue. Archeologists dispute that. But when you ever go to Antioch in Pisidia, and I hope that someday in the near future, maybe the next couple of few years, we can organize a tour of the first journey of Paul through these regions. And you could see this, anybody that would want to go.

But they tell you that this was built on the ruins of the synagogue into which Paul goes and preaches. Archeologists dispute that, but they have not found the ruins of a synagogue in Antioch in Pisidia. It doesn't mean that it's not there, they just haven't excavated all of the city. So they have not found it, but they know that this church is here. It's called St. John's Basilica. And you go there, you can kind of crawl around on the remains of it, but at least gives you a visual to look at and to consider in this particular setting. Because this temple looks down upon the city. Now with that as a background, let's once again, just keep in mind how this man, Augustus, was looked at.

I covered this at the beginning of our study in Acts, but just a quick review. Augustus was the emperor when Christ was born, he was still alive, and he was already worshiped as semi-divine while he lived, but afterwards, certainly elevated to the status. But what was happening in the period leading up to the period of the birth of Jesus was this adulation that was growing, being heaped upon Augustus by the Roman culture. He had saved Rome. Civil war erupted after Julius Caesar's assassination. Octavian had to defeat Mark Anthony. And then, you know, later Mark Anthony was aligned with Cleopatra and we covered a little bit of that story. Octavian prevails, he becomes the emperor. Mark Anthony commits suicide. He's the sole ruler of Rome. In time, he's given this religious name, Augustus, and the Caesar from Julius. And he changes his name.

And so he is known from that point on, no longer Octavian, he is Augustus. But he is looked upon as the savior of Rome. And this is important, all right? That word is soter in Greek, but he is looked upon as the savior. Poems are written about him. There's a poet Ovid, O-V-I-D, and Virgil, who...you know, look, in every epic of great men and legendary figures, somebody writes a poem about them. Somebody writes an epic novel or story about the hero, and they're elevated to, you know, larger status. And they become these figures. Virgil, who wrote the "Aeneid" and other works, and Ovid and others, in their writings, they refer to this age as the age of Augustus, as the age of a savior that has come. This is the idea that the Romans are thinking about.

And this is in the period leading up to the birth of Jesus, who is the true savior. But a counterfeit is being perpetrated upon the Roman world into which Jesus is going to be born. And this is an important part of the story to understand, you know, why Jesus at that time and what was going on in the larger world, Satan had his purpose, and he's working through this beast power, the fourth beast of Daniel 7, Rome, and all that it means and what is taking place here.

Now, Augustus bought into the hype, you know, it's good to be king. The song says, good to be king. And toward the end of his life, Augustus writes up something that is called the "Res Gestae Divi Augusti. This is the Latin. He writes his own epitaph. Translated, it means, "The things accomplished by the divine Augustus." The things accomplished by the divine Augustus. And he actually wrote it with his own hand. And he ordered that bronzes castings of it be made and placed on the temples and prominent places throughout the empire, so everybody would know what he did. And there are fragments of it. In fact, in this temple in Antioch in Pisidia, they found fragments of it. And this is all that's left. They've been able to put it together somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle and fill in little bits and pieces of it. But this is what was on a part of that entire temple complex in Antioch in Pisidia, when people would come up to do worship, which they had to do every year at least. And to Augustus, actually on the 23rd of every month, which was the day of his birth, there would've been a ceremony in these temples dotted around to Augustus. But they would've stopped and they would've read.

This is taken from the replica that is on the altar apiece right next to his mausoleum in Rome itself. If you ever go there, you can see this. But it's quite interesting. He says a lot of things. What he says, let me give you a few quotes because this is all going to dovetail into the sermon Paul gives. One of the most important inscriptions from that period on this Res Gestae is...the thing which means "acclaims accomplished by Augustus." The inscription speaks of his deliverance of the Roman world from civil war. That's one prominent thing. He saves the Roman world in the aftermath of the assassination of Caesar and he mentions that. This is how he has looked upon. He also mentions his lavish benefaction upon the Roman people, the number of public buildings erected at his own expense, his diligence in rewarding veterans. And I've mentioned that here in Antioch, about 3000 veterans of the Roman Army were settled here, given land. And the many different public honors. You know, the divine Augustus, you know, hail Caesar, and all of this that were given to him on account of his virtue. What was his virtue? Well, he killed a lot of people. And if you crossed him, you could lose your life too. So virtues in the Roman world were a little different than the virtues that Jesus came teaching. But he talks about that. And so he puts all of this on this realm.

Now, at some point, maybe while we're in Acts, I will show you a little clip of a film. It's a reenactment of Augustus in his palace, in the ruins of his palace in Rome. And he is talking to a woman dressed in white who's a symbol of Europa, Europe. And he's talking to her in a staged setting. It was done as a promotional film. I got a copy of it in a museum when we were there back in 2015. And it's good enough to show, and I'll show that to you. But the dialogue in this little film is from the Res Gestae, and he's talking about himself and what he did. But he's also, in that particular film, he's talking to this woman who represents Europe, pushing her or pushing Europe. Because it's really a propaganda film put out by somebody a few years ago to basically tell Europe to get its act together and become what Augustus was and to lead, which dovetails into what we will study in Revelations 17 and 18. So maybe at that time, I'll show it to you as well.

But this is all the background to that. And so Augustus is looked upon as a savior. And, you know, his words and his whole approach are to mimic and imitate the gospel in a counterfeit manner and to deceive the world. It is a physical counterfeit of Satan's spiritual plan to overthrow and to defy the actual word of God. And so with that in mind, and with this setting, then let's look at what happens as Paul comes into the city. Let me get to my notes here to get us to the point.

Acts 13:14 "They depart from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia." Luke just moves right through it. He doesn't tell you what they had for lunch along the way or how many days it took, he just, they came. "And then they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and they sat down."

All right? Now, was it on the side of this building? We don't know, but it could be. But at least that gives you a visual look at the snowcapped mountains in the background. And quite an interesting setting. But it was just down the hill from this temple to Augustus that Paul then comes in, sits down in a synagogue, verse 15.

Acts 13:15-16 "And after reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, Paul and Barnabas saying, 'Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.'" The opportunity presents itself. “Paul stood up, motioning with his hand, reaches out, and he said,” and here's then as a synopsis of what was probably longer, but as Luke gives it to us here, "Men of Israel," the Jews that were there, Jewish synagogue, "and you who fear God."

Now, here's that phrase here that tells us that there are more than just Jews in the audience. There are those who fear God, or what's the term, God-fearers. A class of people, largely Gentile, who have associated themselves with the synagogue. They believe in the values of Judaism, of the law of Moses, and what Judaism is at that time. The ethics, the virtues, the teachings of the Mosaic law are more appealing to these Gentiles than the virtues of Augustus and the pagan world that he symbolizes. And so they said, instead of going up here, they're going to the synagogue.And here's where they hear this message from Paul.

Acts 13:16 "You who fear God."

Listen, verse 17, what Paul does is very similar to Stephen's message in that he kind of recounts a brief truncated history of God's actions upon Israel. And emphasis on God's actions. All right? God is not a passive God. He moves, He thunders, He delivers, He acts, He gets things done at particular points in time. And this is kind of how he shapes his narrative here.

Acts 13:17 "The God of these people, Israel, chose our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and exalted to people, the Israelites, their descendants when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt." So he moves quickly in one phrase to their time as strangers in Egypt, “and with an uplifted arm, He brought them out of it.”

The Exodus. And that whole period of time, He brings them out. So it's God's actions. God chose Abraham, told Abraham to act as well, get you out of your country to a place I will show you. So Abraham had to act too. As disciples, we have to act on God's word. We have to act on God's promises. That's called faith. And so keep that in mind. God promises. God says He will do, He will bless, He will deliver, He will heal, He will hear, He will act. We have to take action too. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, they had to act. He brought them out of it.

Acts 13:18 "Now, for a time of about 40 years, He put up with their ways in the wilderness."

Interesting phrase, the way he puts it. He put up with their ways, you know, that's the eternal lament of a parent. I put up with you. We put up with you children and we raised you. We had...as parents, every generation of parents, we put up with our children. We love our children. But we also have to take sometimes the good, you know, always take the good, but we always have to take whatever bad happens. And that's part of parenting, that's part of the family relationship. We put up with each other. But God put up with their ways in the wilderness. He didn't...you know, He chastised them. He corrected them, but He never forsook them. He didn't neglect them. Even when He was about ready to, remember, Moses stood in, "God, don't do this. Take me instead." God never forsook the children of Israel when they deserved to be forsaken. But He never did.

Acts 13:19-22 "When He had destroyed seven nations," verse 19, "the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment. After that, He gave them judges for about 450 years until Samuel the prophet." And He deals in whole numbers here. This is kind of rounded off, so don't worry about the exact this and that. That's understood. "And afterward they ask for a king. So God gave them Saul, the son of Kish, man of the tribe of Benjamin for 40 years. And when he had removed him." So God had to act upon Saul because of his disobedience. What did He do? "He raised up to them David as king."

So again, you see the force of action throughout this story that Paul brings together here.

Acts 13:22- And he said, "...David as king," that there's a nexus, a focal point, "to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will do all my will.'"

And so he's quickly brought to this point, and it's almost like He uses David now as a bridge to the power of the son of David. In the next verse, when he refers to David's seed.

Acts 13:23 "From this man's seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a savior, Jesus."

And so "from this man's seed" would be David, Christ was of the lineage of David. But the promise, "according to the promise," would be understood in probably a two-fold way, the Genesis 12 promise to Abraham of the seed, the spiritual aspect of that part of the promise of Jesus. But also you could understand the promise here, verse 23, to the promise to David of his seed. And what would be there? And really at this particular point, there's a very powerful illusion to Isaiah 11, the whole chapter, Isaiah 11 which is a very powerful Messianic passage. If you want to turn there briefly, we'll just note a few verses.

Isaiah 11:1-2 "There shall come forth a rod from the stem of Jesse," the stem of Jesse is David. All right? David was the son of Jesse. "There shall come forth a rod and a branch shall grow out of his roots." That's referring to Christ. "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him. The spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord."

The whole passage in chapter 11 of Isaiah is a Messianic passage. And Paul here is connecting to it in his sermon back in Antioch in Pisidia at verse 23, when he says, God raised up for Israel a savior.

Now, the other part of this which should be understood here in verse 23, the Savior is Jesus. Okay. I'll put this over here. Jesus. It's not Augustus, it's not that guy. But keep in mind, Paul's giving this sermon in Antioch, almost literally in the shadow of this great monumental temple to Augustus in a city with a lot of people loyal and faithful to Augustus. And among these God-fearers would be gentiles, maybe even former legionaries, we don't know, but imagine that, who had served under Augustus or the legions of Rome, given a part of land as a result of the settlement there their families had. Maybe their father, grandfather. And yet they're God-fearers. They're hearing a message. Jews are hearing this message who have to have a very uneasy relationship in the city of Antioch in Pisidia and the cult of Augustus that is there in that temple.

And here Paul comes and he says, "God raised up according to the promise for Israel, a soter." A savior. That's where the politics get into it. Paul is making a statement against the cult of Augustus. That's political, folks. That's from a basis of truth, Paul's not a partisan politician, but he is now getting personal. This is a really bold sermon. And when you understand it in the context of what he was doing, he could have had a soldier of Rome or official of the city, heard him. They could have hauled him out for tyranny, for inciting insurrection, hate speech read. You ever heard of that today? Well, they could have done that. The parallels of what's going on today in our society at the highest levels of culture, in education, and government mirror in parallel the setting of Rome and the culture there. Paul was making a statement that, you know, some of the Jews could have said, "Paul, you're getting too political. We just want to hear the gospel. We just want to hear about God," in their case. But had it been a, let's say, a church, "We just want to hear about Jesus. We just want to hear a good Christian living message. Paul, we just need something to get us to Monday morning and Tuesday morning, Thursday afternoon, and through the week. A message that's helpful, good, soft. We don't need politics, we don't need you kind of stirring things up. We don't need you talking about..." because the word savior would've been a...that's a word that would've triggered thoughts.

You ever hear that phrase today? Trigger words? Oh, I don't feel safe now. I don't feel safe. We need to report you to HR. You need to go through some remedial training because I don't feel safe. This is our culture today, and sometimes even in our own midst we don't want to deal with some of the hard statements that need to be understood about our world today. What's happening culturally, educationally, government and power as it's being exercised in all the different forms to control and to shape a narrative and a story, and to control a people and, frankly, bring down a people.

Well, Paul knew that Augustus was not God, that Zeus was not God. Nothing that was, you know, a part of that was God. And that Christ had come of the seed of David, and that He was the true savior whose virtues were perfect. Remember, we read from the Res Gestae, or on that Res Gestae, Augustus talked about how his virtues were lauded. And I built these buildings, these roads, these institutions. I did this, I was celebrated, and I was the one who's connected to the savior of Rome. And Paul is coming along and saying, no, he's not. He's not a savior to be given sacrifices to. His virtues are the virtues of a different world order. And that the true savior is Jesus. This statement of verse 23 is very powerful in the context of the day on which he gave it and what it means. Let's go on to verse 24.

Acts 13:24-26 "After John had first preached, before his coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel, and as John was finishing his chores, he said, 'Who do you think I am? I am not He, but behold, there comes one after me, the sandals of whose feet I'm not worthy to loose.'" Quoting John's pointing to Jesus. "Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God." So, he draws in all of the people sitting in front of him, not only the Jews but those who fear God as well as the sons of Abraham, the Jews, "To you, the word of this salvation has been sent."

There's that word, salvation again. He's getting political. Maybe some people are squirming out there in the pews. "Oh, boy, I better get outta here before the authorities come in. I don't want to be caught anywhere near this. It's going to impact my shop and my work, my contracts, my standing in the community." And because he's saying to you the word of this salvation, it's the word of God, it's the truth. It's not the words on that Res Gestae just up the hill written by Augustus. Augustus's Res Gestae was his last rule and testament. But it was also his epistle. It was his gospel. It was a Roman gospel of a dead man now worshiped as divine and is plastered on the temples with his name. It's his holy writ. And Paul is saying, no, it isn't. He is going right for the jugular of the beast. This is a very powerful sermon.

Acts 13:27 "For those who dwell in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death." He now begins to go into the detail of the arrest and the crucifixion of the true savior. "Now, when they had fulfilled what was written concerning him."

And he mentions Pilate, note that in verse 28, Pilate is the Roman governor. Pilate is the Roman authority. Pilate is the agent of the beast who condemned Jesus and sent Him to the cross. And so again, he's connecting it all together. And he's saying that government that this man represents and this temple on the hill deifies killed the son of God. Pilate, his agent did it.

Acts 13:29-32 "Now, when they have fulfilled," verse 29, "all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb dead." Augustus died. They put his remains in a tomb. But verse 30, "God raised Him from the dead. He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people." Our soter, our savior, did not suffer corruption. And in verse 32, he says, "We declare to you glad tidings that promise which was made to the fathers."

Again, glad tidings. That's another term for the gospel. Good news, glad tidings. We declare that to you, Paul saying, I'm here telling you this and I'm telling you that the words of Augustus are nothing. He's nothing. That temple is nothing. That statue of him up the hill that you can see as you will look at it and you'll look through the openings, you'll see him sitting there. It's nothing.

Acts 13:33-37 "God has fulfilled this for our children." Verse 33. "And that He raised up Jesus as it is written in the psalm, the second psalm, 'You are my son, today I have begotten you.'" And that's a quote out of Psalm 2:7. Verse 34. "And that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption. He has spoken thus." That's out of Isaiah 55:3 where it says, "I will give you the sure mercies of David." Verse 35. "Therefore he also says in another psalm, 'You will not allow your holy one to see corruption.'" That's Psalm 16:10. "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption. But he whom God raised up saw no corruption."

And again, he's just laying out the whole story of the death, resurrection of Christ. He was not corrupted. And then he comes to his punchline in verse 38.

Acts 13:38-40 "Therefore, let it be known to you brethren that through this man has preached to you the forgiveness of sins." Augustus can't forgive sins. "By him, everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore lest what has been spoken and the prophets come upon you."

So here's a morning and here's very clear gospel teaching of justification before God and of forgiveness. But also he says, he said, listen to this, beware lest what has been spoken in the prophets, any of the prophets where it says.

Acts 13:41 "Behold you despisers, marvel and perish for I work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe though one were to declare it to you."

This is an explicit quote from Habakkuk 1:5, which is an interesting minor prophet. Paul brings it in at this point in the story, Habakkuk was the prophet who said, "God, my people are awful, you know, help us. Please help us." God says, "I'm going to help you. I'm going to raise up Babylon and bring against you." And Habakkuk says, "They're worse than we are. Why would you use them?" And then, you know, it's a beautiful three-chapter book, Habakkuk in the Bible. Paul pulls this end of the story to connect it to judgment and the prophetic teaching. And who's here? It's Judah, their sins in the time of Habakkuk. But there's that Babylon again, because Babylon is the antagonist of the story in Habakkuk. And Paul brings in this obscure verse from a small minor prophet, but it's a statement of warning and judgment and of repentance that Judah didn't hear. Now, he's telling this audience in this new Testament setting that if you don't hear this, judgment will be upon you. Well, guess what? They didn't all hear. And judgment was upon them.

And you go there today and the city was forgotten. Ruins. Can't even find the synagogue that he spoke these words in. Is that not judgment? It's judgment. It is also, as I said, a very strong political message. Paul aims his message right at the heart of the worship of idolatry. God said, cannot hear, cannot speak that are nothing. And he's preaching to them about the God who is everything. And so here's the end of verse 42.

Acts 13:42-43 "When the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath." They wanted to hear more. "When the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas whose speaking to them persuaded them to continue in the grace of God."

So, it seems then for the next few days, but there were some devout proselytes and many Jews who wanted to hear more. So wherever Paul and Barnabas took up a position, maybe in a remote place of a square of the city or some other type of room they found, we don't know, but he continues to teach them through the week.

Acts 13:44-45 And then verse 44 says, "On the next Sabbath, seven days later, almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God." Almost the whole city, not everybody, but they got a few more people in here. It's a little bit of hyperbole on part of Luke, but they got a crowd. "And when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy."

I like to imagine the Jews who were accustomed to coming late and still having a seat came late that Sabbath and they had no seats because these Gentiles started pouring in.

Acts 13:45-47 “And they were filled with envy,” it says, "And contradicting and blaspheming, they oppose the things spoken by Paul."  And so things are breaking up now. "Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, 'It was necessary the word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold we turn to the Gentiles for, so the Lord has commanded us.'"

And just as again, the prophets had predicted, a light now is given to the Gentiles, and salvation is made known to the ends of the earth in that way.

Acts 13:48-49 "When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region."

And so Luke doesn't give us a timeframe, but it says that many believed, and this is the same word used earlier for Sergius Paulus in that he believed, but there's a bit more here, as many as have been appointed to eternal life. I think there's a little bit more description to the change here in these people, these Gentiles, than what we had with Sergius Paulus. But that's a finer point to debate that, you know, and still leaves us not fully knowing. But their success, they stay for a period of time now, just don't read right over verse 49.

Acts 13:49 "The word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region."

Gives us the indication that around Antioch in Pisidia, which then and now are a lot of small villages. Probably people who heard Paul, maybe let's say they were there a month, we don't know, but it could have been a month or, you know, several weeks. They took the word out there. Maybe Paul, maybe Barnabas split up and went and walked out on Sabbath and other times to some of the other villages in this region of Antioch. But it gives us an idea that the gospel went beyond the confines of the city of Antioch in Pisidia. And they probably had a measure of success. So much so that in verse 50.

Acts 13:50-52 "The Jews stirred up the devout prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. They shook off the dust from their feet against them," an idiom to basically, you know, show they had done their part, there's an official parting of the ways. "And they came to Iconium and the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."

Iconium is about, well, roughly 50 miles or so right here from Antioch. There's a main road, the Via Egnatia. The Via Egnatia, E-G-N-A-T-I-A, began in Ephesus and ran all the way over to the Euphrates and it came right through Antioch in Pisidia. So they had a good Roman road to go down to Iconium.

And that's where we'll pick up the story in the next class. Iconium is today the city of Konya in Turkey. We drove through that in our tour. There's really nothing to see there excavation archeologically today. Konya, ancient Iconium, they call it the Vatican of Islam. It's a hotbed of Islam. And so you don't see any desire to unearth the Christian past in the city of Konya in Turkey today.

So, we'll end it there. You see the power of this sermon and you see the connection and how political and strong and dangerous it was for Paul to, in a sense, take on Augustus in the very shadow of a temple dedicated to Augustus in a city that revered him in many ways and to make a very strong message about the gospel. We'll pick it up next time in the remainder of Paul's first journey. I thought I would do it all today, but that was a little bit too ambitious in my thinking. So we'll see you next class.